RepositoryLambeth Palace Library
LevelSeries
Alt Ref NoVG 1
Extent40 volumes
TitleSubscription Books
Date1660-1959
DescriptionApart from subscriptions of clergy during the vacancies of bishoprics within the southern province until 1874, and of clergy within the province of Canterbury under the Act of Uniformity, 1662, the majority of the volumes contain subscriptions for the diocese of Canterbury.
The early subscriptions (vols. 1-19) consist of a written summary of the oaths often in the subscriber's own hand with the signature below. From 1874 these were replaced by printed forms. Most of the earlier volumes contain a printed copy of the Thirty Nine Articles with manuscript copies of the other oaths required at the time.
FindingAidsCatalogue records based on the following finding aids:

Card index to VG 1/1-13 [not including medical licences]

MEDICAL LICENCES
The following volumes (1660-1775) were used in Melanie Barber's 'Directory of Medical Licences Issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury', part 1: Vicar General Series Licences, 1576-1775:
VG 1/1 1660-1677.
VG 1/3 1662-1695.
VG 1/5 1665-1689.
VG 1/6 1684-1714.
VG 1/8 1714-1731.
VG 1/9 1731-1750.
AdminHistoryCanons 36 - 38, & 40, of 1603, regulated clerical subscription which had first been introduced in 1559. Applicants for ordination, institution, collation or for a licence to a curacy or to preach were required to subscribe to the 3 Articles of Canon 36 - the oath of supremacy, assent to the 39 articles and to the Book of Common Prayer. By Canon 40, clergymen seeking preferment had to take an oath against simony. Although these oaths formed the basis of clerical subscription, other oaths were added to meet various contingencies. Between the Act of Uniformity of 1662, and 1682, the oath of uniformity was subscribed. After the Glorious Revolution, oaths of allegiance and abjuration were introduced to fortify the new regime. (1Wm:Mary, c.18; 13-14 Wm.III, c.6.). After each change of monarch, these oaths were reaffirmed or amended (1 Anne, c.22; 1 George 1, stat.2, c.3).
The church also insisted on subscription to the oaths of canonical obedience, and personal residence, and from cathedral and college dignitaries, an oath to conform to the statutes of the foundation.
Clerical subscription was later regulated by the Clerical Subscription Act, 1865 and by the Promissory Oaths Act, 1868. The 3 Articles were replaced by a general assent to the Book of Common Prayer and to the 39 Articles. Clergy are still required to subscribe to the oath of allegiance, canonical obedience and to make the declaration against simony.
RelatedMaterialMS. 1088, subscription book 1684-95.
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